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Handle with care: avoid pulled elbow

4 June 2019

We are reminding all educators to handle children safely, and in accordance with their service’s policy, after several children have suffered pulled elbows.

Pulled elbow occurs when a ligament that normally holds the lower arm in place is overstretched and the bone partially slips out from the ligament. This is usually caused by a sudden pull on the arm or wrist. It is very painful and requires immediate medical care.

Educators should not lift children by their wrists or hands, as this can cause a pulled elbow injury. Lift by their armpits instead.

Nominated supervisors or directors of services should remind all staff of their service’s policy and ensure they know how to safely handle children.

For more information about pulled elbow, see the fact sheet from The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.